HONG KONG: Jurisdiction Loses Key Asset Management Jobs Over Covid Curbs.

As published on finews.asia, Thursday 18 August, 2022.

Financial firms continue to reconsider staffing plans in Hong Kong due to Covid-linked restrictions with more than a third of global asset managers having moved regional and global posts out of the city, according to a recent survey.

35 percent of global asset managers have moved regional and global posts out of Hong Kong, according to a survey by the Hong Kong Investment Fund Association (HKIFA). Around 13 percent of respondents said they had cut headcount in Hong Kong while one-third allowed staff to permanently work overseas, including Hong Kong-based employees.

The industry body warned that Hong Kong could permanently lose such regional and global roles once they have been relocated, adding that Singapore is now the top destination for such jobs.

The city is not only suffering from talent outflows but also a lack of inflows with 70 percent of respondents saying it has been "extremely difficult" to recruit foreigners to work in Hong Kong due to the strict Covid measures. In response, 20 percent of asset managers surveyed were now offering "hardship allowances" as a means to attract overseas talent who consider relocation to Hong Kong to be a challenging move.

According to HKIFA, the report is based on a survey of 36 fund management companies in July, prior to the government’s latest decision to cut hotel quarantines from seven to three days.

Separately, HKIFA has been continuously urging Hong Kong authorities to lift the Covid restrictions in order for the city to maintain its competitiveness as a global financial hub. It specifically underlined November as a key time to reopen and connect with the rest of the world due to various international events scheduled for the month including the Rugby Sevens and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s widely anticipated financial summit.

Some top banking executives will reportedly skip the two-day summit unless quarantine-free entry into the city is allowed.

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